Islamic State Jihadists Execute 23 Civilians Near Syria’s Palmyra

BEIRUT:  Fighters from the jihadist Islamic State group on Friday executed 23 civilians, including nine children, near Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra, a monitor said. “The Islamic State group executed by gunfire 23 civilians, including nine children, in the village of Amiriyeh, north of Tadmor,” said the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman. He told AFP that family members of government employees were among those killed near Palmyra, also called Tadmor in Arabic, as the jihadists closed in on the UNESCO world heritage site.  ...

Sinai Jihadist Leader Calls for Attacks on Local Judges

 The leader of Sinai Province, a terrorist group in Egypt with links to the Islamic State,on Wednesday called on followers to attack local judges,Reuters reported. The call was made in an audio statement posted on a prominent jihadist website.   It appeared days after six members of the group were executed for an attack on soldiers in Cairo last year, and follows a court’s decision on Saturday to seek the death penalty for ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.   “It is wrong for the tyrants to jail our brothers,” cleric Abu Osama al-Masry was quoted as having said, referring to judges.   “Poison their food… surveil them at home and in the street… destroy their homes with explosives if you can,” he added.   Reuters could not confirm the authenticity of the recording.   Sinai Province, formerly known as Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, is a Sinai-based terrorist group that has claimed responsibility for most of the terrorist attacks in the region over the last few years. Among the attacks claimed by the group since Morsi’s ouster was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai.   The Egyptian army imposed a curfew on Gaza on October 25, following two deadly attacks in El-Arish, which killed dozens of soldiers and which were also claimed by the group.  ...

12 Afghan cops killed in multiple checkpoint attacks

At least a dozen Afghan police officers were killed in a series of insurgent attacks on checkpoints in the country’s southern Uruzgan province, an official said. Nematullah Khan Roshan, deputy district chief for the Charcheno district in Uruzgan, said on Wednesday that Taliban insurgents attacked three separate police checkpoints on Monday night. Roshan added that pitched battles are still ongoing in the area and that government reinforcements have been deployed. The current confrontation is so intense, Roshan said, that the corpses of both police officers and insurgents killed in the battle have been laying in open ground with no way to safely recover the bodies. Elsewhere in Afghanistan, at least 10 insurgents were killed by government forces in the northwestern province of Badghis near the border with Turkmenistan, an official said. Mirwais Mirzakwal, spokesman for the provincial governor, said on Wednesday that the operation in the Bala Murghab district near the Turkmen border was still ongoing. Mirzakwal said his government had “done our best to provide security along the border.” Mirzakwal added that last year Turkmen authorities started building a fence along the border with Afghanistan after a Taliban attack in which three members of the Turkmen security forces were wounded. Source...

Boko Haram Kills​ 10 In Fresh Adamawa Attack

No fewer than ten people were feared killed Saturday​ in a renewed attack by Boko Haram on Ajiya Wagga village in  Madagali Local Government area, northern Adamawa state. The insurgents attacked Sabongari town leading to the death of one person while six women were abducted. A fleeing resident of Ajiya Wagga, Timothy Wagra, said the insurgents struck in the middle of the night while the villagers were asleep and started shooting sporadically in the process killing many. “Many people are still in the bush as they fear another attack by the gunmen while some fled to neighbouring villages,” Mr. Wagra said. Reports say that said many villagers have sustained various degrees of injuries and are being evacuated to hospitals for proper medical attention. The council chairman Maina Ularamu also confirmed the incident. “At least ten people were killed during the attack,” he said. “The insurgents arrived the village around midnight Saturday and shot several people.” However when contacted, spokesman of the Adamawa State police command, Othman Mohammed​,​ said the police were yet ​to ​receive an official report of the incident. Source...

Attacks on Syrians in Turkey increasing

The past few weeks brought an upsurge in protests and acts of violence against the Syrian refugees in Turkey. Most Turks believe that there are far more Syrians currently in Turkey than Ankara acknowledges, because the majority of them are not registered. Public anger is not only being stirred by Syrian beggars becoming permanent features on the streets of cities and towns, but also because the refugees are undercutting already low wages and forcing up rents in mainly lower-income districts because of the increased demand for housing they create. Recent surveys indicate that many Turks still view helping the needy Syrians as philanthropic, but these same surveys also reveal a significant amount of resentment. More and more people think there is a limit to how philanthropic Turkey can afford to be when millions of Turks are also facing unemployment and poverty. Confrontations between local people and the Syrians living outside official refugee camps appear to be inevitable given these large numbers. An angry crowd in the southeastern city of Sanliurfa, reportedly organizing through social media, tried recently to demonstrate against the Syrians, but was prevented from doing so after the city’s governor mobilized the riot police to protect the refugees. A group of 20 youths, angered over the ban, attacked three Syrian passersby, stabbing one in the leg. The Syrians took refuge in a local shop whose owner protected them from what turned into a lynch mob. The police detained 10 people, but such a response is unlikely to deter additional attacks on Syrian refugees. May alone has witnessed violence against Syrians in Izmir, Gaziantep and Hatay. Some incidents are said to have taken place after Syrian involvement in attacks on locals and alleged accosting of local girls. These...

12 killed, 51 wounded in Yemen clashes

ADEN: Fierce clashes between rebels and pro-government forces killed dozens across south Yemen on Saturday, threatening to derail a humanitarian ceasefire drawn up to bring vital aid to the war-wracked country. The five-day truce initiated by a Saudi-led coalition expires late on Sunday, and Riyadh has already warned it was “ready to act” against any ceasefire violations. In the latest violence, at least 12 civilians were killed and 51 wounded when the Houthi rebels shelled several neighbourhoods in Yemen’s third city of Taiz, military and local sources said. The clashes came after overnight fighting killed 26 Houthi rebels and militiamen loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh as well as 14 pro-government forces, military sources said. The United Nations has expressed deep concern about the civilian death     toll from clashes. It says more than 1,500 people have died in the conflict since late March. Some aid has begun to trickle into Yemen since the pause in fighting, but residents of areas where clashes persist complain they remain without the most basic supplies. The fighting in Taiz overnight forced many to flee to the countryside. “Humanitarian aid hasn’t reached Taiz, where we haven’t received fuel, food or medical equipment,” said a government official in the city. The United Nations has called for the Saudi-led coalition to simplify import inspections after warning that supplies were still blocked. UN co-ordinator Johannes van der Klaauw warned that the inspections, introduced under an arms embargo slapped on the Houthi rebels last month, were hampering aid deliveries. “The arms embargo and its inspection regime results in commercial goods, be it by air or by ship,...